Balotelli could make early debut for Manchester City

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The Independent Football

Mario Balotelli could make a surprise debut for Manchester City on Thursday against Timisoara in the Europa League.

It was widely expected that the former Inter Milan striker, who joined the club last week, arrived too late to be included in the squad.

However UEFA confirmed this morning that Balotelli still had a chance of playing in the play-off first leg match as one change can be made to the original list.

City, though, face a race against time as the 20-year-old's registration needs to approved by both the Football Association and UEFA before midnight tomorrow.

UEFA article 18.14 states: "For the three qualifying rounds and the play-offs, one player on List A may be changed until 24.00 CET on the day before the relevant first-leg match, provided that the club's national association confirms in writing that the new player is eligible to play at domestic level at this time."

The squad are due to travel tomorrow with reports in Romania stating that Timisoara are on 100 Euros a man to beat City and progress in the competition.

Balotelli meanwhile is due to host a press conference later today at City's Carrington training complex.